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A previous Anti-war protesters at Shannon Airport. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

Airport protest this Sunday


PEACE group Shannonwatch have organised what it calls “a major national mobilisation” against the US military use of Shannon Airport, which will take place this Sunday.
The demonstration will call for an immediate end to the use of the airport by the American military, and it is being supported by a number of antiwar organisations and the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
It comes on the back of a number of recent protests at the airport, one of which restricted passengers ability to use escalators in the terminal, and another which saw people go past the perimeter fencing around the runway.
“We welcome the Irish government’s calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and their intervention in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel,” said Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch.
“However, this means nothing if they don’t do everything in their power to cut off the supply of weapons and other support to Israel.
“One of the immediate actions Ireland must take is to end the movement of US military planes through Shannon Airport and Irish airspace. If they don’t do this, they are supporting genocide.”
Shannowatch claims that American military contracted aircraft with munitions on board typically land at regional bases in Eastern Europe for Ukrainian supplies, or at bases in the Middle East.
However, tracking where the munitions eventually end up is difficult, and the Irish government makes no effort to do so.
Shannonwatch have also documented US Air Force planes that have been in Israel within days of landing at Shannon or flying through Irish airspace.
The organisation says that its calls over many years for these planes to be inspected at Shannon have been ignored by the government who say they rely on US “assurances that the aircraft are unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives, are not engaged in military exercises or operations.
It also says that overflights of US military aircraft are permitted without prior notification, also on the basis that the aircraft are not carrying weapons or forming part of military exercises.
“The government cannot and should not take the word of the US authorities about its military planes. The only way to be sure we are not helping to supply the weapons that have killed or injured over 100,000 people in Gaza is to deny permission for any US military or military contracted planes to land at Shannon or to fly through Irish airspace,” said Mr Horgan.
“All Irish politicians have a duty to uphold humanitarian laws, and we would like to see as many politicians as possible attending this peace vigil, supporting Irish neutrality, and calling for an ending of US military use of Shannon Airport,” he added.
Roger Cole, chairperson of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance which is supporting the demonstration said “The decision of Israel to destroy the Embassy of Iran in Syria could mean a major escalation in the Israeli war on Gaza.
“The need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza by Israel is crucial. Ireland needs to play a crucial role now, more than ever in stopping the USA using Shannon Airport to support Israel.”
Zoë Lawlor, Chairperson of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign said “We cannot be silent while Israel commits genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. We demand action from our government to sanction that state, enact the legislation on its illegal settlements and to stop the US military use of Shannon Airport. The majority of people in Ireland support sanctions on Israel and have come out onto the streets in their thousands for 6 months to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and total rejection of these endless atrocities.
“Ireland cannot have one iota of complicity with this genocide and must stop enabling the US military to participate in it. We commend the activists who have highlighted this grievous misuse of Shannon.”
Shannonwatch holds peace vigils at Shannon on the second Sunday of every month but the demonstration on April 14 is expected to be one of the biggest in many years.

Owen Ryan
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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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